Azelia San Rocco 2007 Barolo—on impulse

I had every intention of making it a “kale salad and kombucha” night. I even made a special trip to the Santa Cruz Farmers Market to stock up on my seasonal provisions, and to start the evening off right with a snack of sample pieces of organic apples and peaches. But looking back to the apple-purveyor’s comment, “You look much too happy! What are you laughing about?” I can see now that I was in too good of a mood to keep up such a simple course.

Farmers Market apples.
Farmers Market apples.

A few hours later, on an impulse—a highly justifiable one, I might add—this happened.

oooops!
oooops!

And the kale salad did not exactly happen. A few slices of raw kale did end up on my plate, though, along with a few slices of francese bread, and a few more of Cypress Grove Truffle Tremor—although, evidently not enough of any of that, judging from my “next-a.m.” headache.

But it was all worth it.

Azelia San Rocco Barolo 2007.
Azelia San Rocco Barolo 2007.

Azelia San Rocco 2007. Barolo DOCG. Serralunga d’Alba. Don’t be fooled; while the winery is in Castiglione Falletto, the vineyard, San Rocco, sits in between the more well-known Baudana and Cerretta cru in Serralunga. If any wines are made in a truly “modern” style any more, this one just about fits the bill. Fermentation takes place in rotofermenters (although, over the course of about 3 weeks) and the wine ages in barrique for two years. The first aromas of cellar floor and fresh raspberries come forward but it quickly opens up and evolves reliably over a few hours and even days. After just a few minutes, however, this 2007 gem shows delicate earthy components of moss, dirt, cinnamon, and then a touch of perfume. The palate is full of spice and red cherry. With a great texture (cocoa powder, espresso) and perfectly ripe fruit, the finish is weighty and pleasant.★★

NW facing vineyards of Serralunga, as seen from Castiglione Falletto
NW facing vineyards of Serralunga, as seen from Castiglione Falletto.

 

† One of these days I might tell you all the story of exactly why I opened this bottle.

‡ I had the chance to check in with the remaining 2/5 of the bottle four nights later and it wasn’t disgusting. While the fruit was no longer fresh, the other characteristics held up strong, telling me this wine has a lot of life still in it. I could have even drunk a glass on that fourth night, if I had been more desperate. But I wasn’t! I opened a kombucha instead …

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